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Home > Opioid antagonists under heavy sedation or anaesthesia for opioid withdrawal.

Gowing, Linda and Ali, Robert and White, Jason M [The Cochrane Library] . (2010) Opioid antagonists under heavy sedation or anaesthesia for opioid withdrawal. London: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1) DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002022.pub3

URL: http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysre...

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of opioid antagonists to induce opioid withdrawal with concomitant heavy sedation or anaesthesia, in terms of withdrawal signs and symptoms, completion of treatment and adverse effects.

Drugs that block opioids are sometimes given to opioid dependent people while they are under heavy sedation or anaesthesia to speed up withdrawal. The review of trials shows that this sort of withdrawal treatment is quicker than withdrawal managed with reducing doses of methadone or clonidine plus symptomatic medications. The intensity of withdrawal experienced with anaesthesia-based approaches is similar to that experienced with approaches using only minimal sedation, but there is a significantly increased risk of serious adverse events with anaesthesia-assisted approaches. The lack of additional benefit, and increased risk of harm, suggest that this form of treatment should not be pursued.


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